Monday, December 21, 2015

[Book Review] Wallflower

(Rear Entrance Video 02)
By Heidi Belleau
October 21, 2013
MM Romance, LGBT, Contemporary Romance

This story was refreshing and I really enjoyed it. Common MM romance stories always feature white, dominant, strong and hunky protagonists. This one is an exception. Not only is Rob a geek, he's a beta-male, an introvert and he's Asian. To be honest, I went in and delved into this story without much expectation or pre-conceived notions. It was the description that got me to read the story, and I'm glad I did. 

Plot-wise, I love how the story delved into Rob's identity crisis. I think this is a common occurrence among the trans community. I have nothing but love and respect for transgenders because it's a huge act of bravery to step forward and be yourself despite societal pressures and blatant discrimination. It also tackled the issue of gender and sexuality (which most people still don't quite understand) without being like an awkward sex ed class.

I love how this romance story tackled the serious issues of identity crisis, gender and sexuality while keeping true to its form as a romance story. There were several light elements that kept everything from being too serious. Kudos to the author for being able to balance everything. 

Character-wise, I love Rob. Although one could say that he's a stereotypical Asian nerd guy, I have a soft spot for geeky protagonists. While he's bordering on stereotypical as an Asian nerd guy, there are enough elements to his character to make him unique. He's relatable in the sense that he's only looking for his own place in the world, much like everyone else.

I personally think Rob and I should be friends. I play MMORPG games, too, so we could bond over that. And if he feels like busting out Bobby, we could always bond over make-up.

As for Dylan, I love the contrast that he presents in comparison to Rob. He's self-aware and knows what he wants, which I think is something that Rob aspires to also become.

All in all, this is pretty thought-provoking for a romance story, and I loved it!


This gamer geek has a lacy little secret.

Art student and MMORPG addict Robert Ng has always been a loner, but he's recently made it his goal to make more (IRL) friends. Which is how he winds up working nights at Rear Entrance Video, shilling sketchy porn and blowup dolls as a favor to his roommate. The longer he works there, though, the more he realizes he’ll never be truly happy until he becomes the person he is online: his female persona, Bobby.

Bobby is cuter and funnier than Rob is, and a thousand times more popular with boys. Becoming Bobby IRL presents its own set of challenges, though . . . especially when you're sitting on the fence between two genders, only one of which has caught the attention of your seriously cute customer/classmate.

Dylan Ford is a six-foot Inuit comic book artist who always says what’s on his mind, and screw anyone who doesn't like it. As rough as he appears, though, Dylan has a soft spot for Rob. But will out-and-proud Dylan still want Rob if he's not all man?

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